Julian the ApostateThe Temple Mount, The Jewish Tax, Promises to Rebuild Jerusalem for Jews

The worst burden of the yoke of slavery imposed on you (e.g. Jews) in the past has been that you were subjected to unpublished taxes and obliged to bring in to the Accounts Department of the Treasury an ineffable quantity of gold. Much of these I have seen myself, and much more I learnt when I discovered the tax-lists kept against you. Furthermore, I prevented that a tax be imposed again on you, caused the impiety derived from such infamy to be stopped, and put to fire the lists laid up against you in my offices, so that no more could one throw against you such an ill-fame of godlessness.

My brother Constantius, worthy of remembrance, is not as guilty of these things against you as are those barbarians in mind and godless in spirit who ate at his table, whom I seized with my hands, threw into a pit, and exterminated, so that not even a memory of their extermination shall remain with us in the future.

Wishing you to fare even better, I have recommended to my brother Julus, the most reverent [Jewish] Patriarch, that that which is called among you the apostle-tax* be abolished, and that in the future no one could harm your multitudes by exacting such taxes, so that you shall have freedom from care in every way during my reign and enjoying peace, you shall make even greater supplication for my reign to God, the mightiest of all, the creator, who found me worthy to be crowned with his immaculate right hand.

For it is natural that those who are visited with some care are preoccupied and do not have even the courage to raise their hands in prayer, while those that are entirely free from any care-rejoicing with their whole heart-perform the supplication-service for my Imperial authority to the Greatest, in whose power it is to direct my reign for the best, according to my purpose. This you must do, in order that I myself, once I have terminated well the war with the Persians, shall rebuild and settle on my expense Jerusalem the holy city, which you have longed for many years to see settled, and in her I shall honor the Greatest with you.

[* The apostle-tax financed the Jewish Patriarch, his establishment, and the Sages in Palestine.]


Source: Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations